ROBBINSVILLE – The widow of the pedestrian that was struck and killed by a pickup truck as he walked along the narrow shoulder of Robbinsville-Allentown Road (Route 526) made a tearful plea to township officials for sidewalks and better lighting on that road.
Barbara Paskewicz and her 8-year-old son Jonathan, both choked back tears at the Feb. 14 Township Council meeting as Paskewicz implored township officials to work to improve safety on the county road so that the death of her husband, William, will not have been in vain.
“We’re here to ask you what could be done to have sidewalks put in so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Paskewicz said.
Robbinsville Administrator Joy Tozzi said the township recently asked the county to review the safety of that area of Robbinsville-Allentown Road, which is a county road.
“We have written a letter to express our concern as a township on your behalf to see if they can assist us,” Ms. Tozzi. “It is narrow there; there isn’t much of a walkway and it does lack a sidewalk. We do see the concern and we continue to look into that.”
Mercer County spokesperson Michael Boonin said Tuesday the county’s responsibility is only for the road itself.
“Sidewalks and lighting are issues that the township would have to address,” Boonin said.
The shoulder at the place where 40-year-old William Paskewicz was killed is about a foot wide. The posted speed limit on Robbinsville-Allentown Road is 45 mph.
Barbara Paskewicz, who noted that Feb. 14 would have been her 15th wedding anniversary, said she recently left flowers and Valentines Day balloons at the makeshift roadside memorial where her husband died and couldn’t help noticing how unsafe the area was for pedestrians.
“I was out there last night and it was very dark,” Paskewicz said.
William Paskewicz, a longtime Robbinsville resident before moving to Hamilton, was struck and killed by a pickup truck at 5:44 p.m., Jan. 27 as he walked along Robbinsville-Allentown Road, a few blocks from the neighborhood where his father lives.
Robert Cheney, 67, of Robbinsville, was charged two days later with death by auto and leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle crash after police received a tip about a damaged pickup truck parked on a driveway less than a mile from the accident scene, police said. The pickup truck had damage consistent with the damage sustained by the hit-and-run vehicle, police said.
Mr. Cheney is free on $100,000 bail.